Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1989 Feb;131(2):373-82.

The formation of leg or wing specific structures by leg bud cells grafted to the wing bud is influenced by proximity to the apical ridge.

Author information

Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


When quail or chick leg bud mesoderm was grafted to a chick wing bud, toes developed from grafts placed in direct contact with the wing apical ridge. The toes were primarily derived from quail leg cells, with variable participation of host wing cells. Donor cells also integrated into wing-specific structures, such as cartilage of the wing digits and the surrounding connective tissues. In addition to forming toes, the grafted leg mesoderm expressed its leg origin by enlarging skeletal elements in the host wing. In all cases, enlargements were derived of both quail donor and chick host cells, and were not the result of the addition of mass to the host bud. Grafts placed further than 162 microns from the ridge formed neither toes nor enlargements; rather, they integrated into wing-specific structures. Under the influence of the apical ridge, the grafted leg mesoderm cells are able to maintain their leg character and to form toes and skeletal enlargements. Grafts outside the range of ridge influence (162 microns) are affected by their surroundings to integrate into wing-specific structures. The formation of leg-specific structures by leg bud mesoderm grafted to the wing bud has been used to support the principle of nonequivalence, which states that, because of their different developmental histories, wing and leg cells are restricted to form structures specific for their respective limbs. However, we have shown that leg cells can form wing-specific structures, and therefore limb cells are not restricted in their development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center